I recently spoke to Topic UK about why I started KB Mortgage Services, who has supported me along the way and my plans for the future. You can read it in full here…
How old are you?
I am 27!
Tell us a bit about what drove you to start your own business at a relatively young age
I always knew that I wanted to work for myself, so it was something that I had thought about for a good few years. I had been a broker for a while and had built up a good reputation. A lot of my business came from referrals and I couldn’t help but think to myself ‘Why am I giving putting in all this effort — especially working extra-long hours — for somebody else?’.
I also got frustrated with being in a corporate environment and having to recommend firms to my clients that didn’t provide the same level of service that I did. Now I am able to suggest great solicitors and surveyors who I know are reliable. I can also offer whole-of-market mortgages, as well as a great panel of protection providers, meaning that I deliver the very best advice and options to my clients.
What areas do you specialise in?
I specialise in arranging residential mortgages for first time buyers and home movers, as well as buy-to-let loans for investors. I also offer protection advice including life, critical illness, income protection, redundancy and home insurance.
Who has provided you with help and support along the way?
My partner has been very supportive and understanding. He wasn’t too sure when I first told him I was considering setting up my own business. He thought that I was still young and it was something that I should do a few more years down the line. However, when I decided to take the plunge, he was great and has really helped me a lot with my workload and the hours I have to put in. My family, friends and the associates who I work with have also been a huge support.
How many clients do you currently look after? Tell us a bit about them.
At any one time I can have around 40 cases to handle — all at different stages of the buying or remortgage process. I also monitor and review my existing clients’ policies when they come up for renewal, so there’s always lots going on. It’s all part and parcel of looking after my customers and making sure they know what’s happening with their house purchase.
I deal with such a huge array of people, from first time buyers who are in their teens, to investors managing a portfolio of properties. I help clients in lots of different scenarios and that’s what makes my job so interesting!
How active are you on social media and what part has/does it play in growing your brand?
In recent months I’ve been very active on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. I share advice and updates on the housing market, as well as blogs from my own website — which I’ve found that people love to read.
It shows that there’s a human behind my business and that I know what I’m talking about — which is so important in my field. After all, buying a home is one of the biggest decisions that we’ll ever make, so I have to show personality as well as build trust.
Over time this will help my business to become known as the best at what we do!
What has been the most challenging part of growing/running your business so far?
Time! There simply aren’t enough hours in the day. I always like to be available for my clients and efficient in returning calls and emails — meaning I’m always switched on. I want the process to be as stress-free as possible, so I put my all in to ensure that my clients are kept up-to-date. This is often a timely process which is why I tend to work many evenings and weekends, too.
And what has been the most rewarding?
I love helping clients move into a new home, knowing how much money I have saved them along the way. The cherry on the cake for me is getting recommendations and receiving testimonials — it just means that I’m doing my job well and that I made the right decision to start my own business!
What advice would you give to another young entrepreneur starting out in business?
Be prepared to put in your all and, most of all, believe in yourself. It’s a scary thought to go it alone, but definitely a great achievement. It’s the best decision I have ever made.
So, just be confident in your own ability and don’t let any knock-backs stop you!
And finally – where do you hope to see the business in five years’ time?
I hope to grow KB Mortgage Services by employing a team of other mortgage advisors around me, and expanding on my network of associates.